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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Calling All Stock Certificates

Last week, Broc Romanek’s Mentor Blog addressed the question of what to do about outstanding stock certificates following a reverse stock split.  Today, I’ll weigh in with a California perspective. Section 422 of the California Corporations Code invests a corporation’s board of directors the authority to order any holders of outstanding share certificates to surrender and exchange them for…

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Do Outsiders Have Standing?

One of the essential elements of a contract is the consent of the parties.  Cal. Civ. Code § 1550(2).  When a party is a corporation, there is always a question of whether the person or persons signing the contract have the authority to do so on behalf the entity.  There is also the question of who can…

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Is A Corporate Director An Employee Subject To Workers’ Compensation?

  Corporate lawyers tend to believe that directors and officers are not ineluctably employees.  Thus, it may come as a surprise that California’s workers’ compensation law has for some time defined an “employee” to include officers and directors: All officers and members of boards of directors of quasi-public or private corporations while rendering actual service…

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When A Majority Won’t Suffice

For California corporations, the general rule is that an act or decision done or made by a majority of the directors present at a meeting duly held at which a quorum is present is the act of the board.  Cal. Corp. Code § 307(a)(8).  This general rule is not without its exceptions.  Two of these…

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Who Votes As Proxy For Shares Standing In The Name Of Another Corporation?

The Proxy Season blog yesterday discussed the following question from the Q&A Forum of TheCorporateCounsel.net: Under Delaware law, can a Board of Directors authorize a person who is not an officer of the company to act as agent and vote shares of stock for the Company that it holds in another entity? John Jenkins responded…

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This Company Solicited Consents To Remove A Sitting Director

It’s not often that you see a company soliciting consents to remove one of its sitting directors.  However, that is what PICO Holdings, Inc. sought to do in this consent solicitation statement filed with the SEC on October 31, 2016.  According to PICO’s Form 8-K , John R. Hart’s employment as president and chief executive officer of the company “was terminated”…

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When A Director May Not Be Interested In Director Compensation

Suppose that a corporation has three directors, A, B & C, each of whom is compensated by the corporation.  Is director A financially interested in a resolution fixing the compensation of director B?  Corporations Section 310(a) provides the following answer: A director is not interested within the meaning of this subdivision in a resolution fixing the…

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Court Addresses “Fair Value” Determination In Statutory Buyout Proceeding

When when a shareholder sues for involuntary dissolution, the corporation, or the holders of 50% or more of the voting power of the corporation, may avoid the dissolution by purchasing for cash the plaintiff’s shares at their “fair value.”  Cal. Corp. Code § 2000.  The statute establishes several parameters for determining “fair value”.  Thus, “fair value” must…

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When Non-Voting Shares Have The Right To Vote

The California General Corporation Law authorizes a corporation to “issue one or more classes or series of shares or both, with full, limited or no voting rights”.  Cal. Corp. Code § 400(a).  Thus, it may be reasonable to assume that when a corporation issues shares with no voting rights, those shares would have no right to…

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Incorporating In Delaware May Not Eliminate Director Liability Under This California Statute

Some readers may have skipped this week’s posts discussing director liability under California Corporations Code Section 316 on the theory that the statute applies only to directors of corporations incorporated under the General Corporation Law.  That could be a big mistake.  California’s pseudo foreign corporation statute, Corporations Code Section 2115, applies Section 316 to foreign…

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